Druggy Books

Hello dear readers,

I’ve been enjoying some great books lately and I thought maybe you’d like to hear about them. You might ask, why, Christa? Why so many druggy books?

Well, for one, I am in the process of revising my three part series of druggy books. And, number two, I’m now working within the addiction/recovery sector where I’ve been discovering amazing writers that you might miss out on if I don’t tell you about them.

Wasting Talent by Ryan Leone

5 stars – Wasting TalentWasting Talent by Ryan Leone is a non-stop, drug-frenzied ride into the narcissistic delirium of an artist who refuses to live up to his potential.

Damien is a talented singer, musician, and songwriter. Everyone keeps telling him so. Still, he can’t give up his perpetual drug binge: crack, acid, coke, ecstasy, weed, meth, pills, alcohol, and his Achilles heel, heroin.

People keep giving him chance after chance, but Damien always blows it. He likes to believe he is doing it out of spite. His talent belongs to him and he wants to deprive the world of it some passive-aggressive way. But I got the impression that maybe, deep down inside, Damien was more afraid of failure–of not living up to everyone’s expectations, including his own.

Leone’s style is unique and pounds like a cocaine-fueled heart. It took me a few pages to get into the flow of his stanza-type style, but I felt it demonstrated the main character’s intoxicated and poetic habit of thinking. The rhythm helps you to build a momentum while reading that makes it hard to put the book down.

Wasting Talent is loaded with depraved characters, absurd situations, and a nauseating amount of illicit substances. The main character’s antics are as hilarious as they are disturbing. This book is not for the squeamish, but I recommend it for those who have the ability to appreciate the beauty and humor in the sleaziest corners of humanity.

Buy Wasting Talent on Amazon.

Visit Ryan Leone’s website.

Junkie Love by Joe Clifford

Junkie Love by Joe Clifford5 stars – Junkie Love is a romance, but it doesn’t so much involve the women in the book. It’s fundamentally a love story about heroin.

We follow the narrator from past to present and back again, from speed freaks’ trailer floors, to homeless shelters, to rehabs. We walk with him into the very depths of earthly hell–cesspools of disease and despair populated by hopeless characters that make you doubt that there is any redemption for the human race. How do these people become this way? How do they live with themselves? They do, and everyday they are fighting by the hour to extinguish a hunger that will never be satiated.

The characters flux in and out of each other’s lives. Friends are made and lost. Lovers are sworn to and left behind. But throughout the book no one really touches the heart and soul of another because the drugs seal them in a membrane that keeps them from ever truly connecting. Together yet separate, they are companions in addiction–the one true love being that perfect high.

Joe Clifford’s prose is reminiscent of The Beats­­–romantic, poetic, and sonorous, making a nice juxtaposition to the emotional and physical muck the main character wades through. The narrator describes his surroundings with reverence, especially San Francisco, and his love for all that surrounds him simmers beneath the darkest of subject matter.

Junkie Love demonstrates just how much an addict is willing to sacrifice for one more fix. It also follows a hero’s journey–from boyhood dreams, to grown up disappointment, and eventually a homecoming to his true being.

Buy Junkie Love on Amazon.

Visit Joe Clifford’s website.

I also recently reviewed Jason Smith’s prescription opiate memoir, The Bitter Taste of Dying. If you missed it, read it here.


The Bitter Taste of Dying Cover Art

August21st at 7:30 pm BERKELEY

Jason Smith will be doing a reading and signing at Pegasus Bookstore with Joe Clifford and Ryan Leone. More info on that to come!

Midnight flier

September 17th at 7:30 pm LOS ANGELES

Joe Clifford and Ryan Leone will be appearing at The Last Bookstore with one of my writing heros, Jerry Stahl, to celebrate Twenty Years of Permanent Midnight.

Click here to join Facebook Event.

Do you know of any good druggy books? Recommend them. Find me on Goodreads.